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Journalist Miles O'Brien Had To Have Arm Amputated

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Miles O'Brien -- the journalist and anchor who has worked for CNN, PBS and many other places -- has had to have most of his left arm amputated, he revealed on Tuesday.

Writing on his website, O'Brien said that the amputation was the result of a simple injury: a case with television equipment fell on his arm. But that incident caused what doctors later told him was "Acute Compartment Syndrome", a condition that cuts off the flow of blood to a limb and can be life-threatening.

Then, things took a turn for the worse:

The doctor recommended an emergency fasciotomy to relieve the pressure. This is a gruesome enough procedure on its own, but the he was clear that the problem was progressing rapidly and there was a clear and present threat to my limb.

It was getting real. Of course I wasn’t awake for the action but I was told later that things tanked even further once I was on the table. And when I lost blood pressure during the surgery due to the complications of compartment syndrome, the doctor made a real-time call and amputated my arm just above the elbow. He later told me it all boiled down to a choice…between a life and a limb.

O'Brien is currently a science correspondent for "PBS Newshour." He worked at CNN for decades, with stints as the network's science reporter and as a host of its morning show, "American Morning."

Read his full piece here.